Family Guy is an animated television program created by Seth MacFarlane and shown on the Fox television network, although it also has slots on TBS and Cartoon Network's [adult swim]. It documents the life of "the Griffins," a fictional family who live in Quahog, Rhode Island. The show, like The Simpsons and other cartoon shows on television, explores—from an extremely liberal angle—cultural and political themes that are important in the world today, as well as taking humorous approaches to past and present television shows. It takes an unfavorable view of creationists, focusing instead on the theory of evolution. Family Guy is known for its constant use of rude and profane speech, violent and crude humor, and liberal deceit. In that vein, the show has made numerous off-color jokes about teen pregnancy, bestiality, abortion, homosexuality, the Holocaust, mental illness, suicide and religion, among other topics. Currently there are about 233 episodes in 12 seasons.
One notorious episode entitled When You Wish Upon a Weinstein, was banned from Fox for anti-Semitism. Several years later, another episode Partial Terms of Endearment was banned from Fox for encouraging abortions. Yet another episode likened McCain-Palin supporters to Nazis. The show frequently uses jokes referencing Hitler and the Nazis.
Another episode introduced a girl with Down Syndrome. During a conversation, she remarked that her mother was the governor of Alaska. Another episode featured a repeated catchphrase "Laura Bush Killed A Guy!" This was a misleading statement, mocking a tragic car accident which occurred when she was 17 years old. Laura Welch, as she was known then, ran a stop sign and crashed into another car, killing its only occupant, 17-year-old Michael Douglas.
On the other hand, the show has made fun of liberal politicians as well. The episode Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey portrays former president Bill Clinton as a hedonistic sex fiend and a drug user.
On that note, in one episode Quagmire criticizes Brian for his "textbook liberal agenda," and then points out he doesn't do anything to actually help. Quagmire also points out Brian has no right to say religion is for idiots because Brian failed college twice, as well as Brian's hypocrisy in saying homelessness is an important issue while doing nothing to help the homeless.
Family Guy and its creators have been savaged by media and fans for its lack of originality and, in some cases, outright plagiarism, particularly from the vastly more popular show, The Simpsons. The basic model of the family - a fat, drunk, stupid, yet good-hearted husband with an attractive, yet nagging wife - is a direct copy of Homer and Marge Simpson. The show has stolen numerous plot ideas from The Simpsons, including the wife developing a gambling addiction.
The character of Stewie is a well-documented theft of the comic book character Jimmy Corrigan, the smartest kid on Earth.
The Simpsons and South Park have openly mocked Family Guy for its lack of creativity and frequent derivative sequences. One episode of South Park portrayed Family Guy as being written by manatees who would randomly select balls inscribed with a noun, verb and pop culture reference, thus creating all the jokes for the show.
The show has also been criticized for having declined in quality since its "uncancellation" for reasons including its constant recycling of jokes, its departure from the more smart, dialogue based humour of the first three seasons in favour of shock and gross-out humour and drastic changes in the characters, for example, Brian was originally portrayed as the voice of reason in the family with a dry sense of humour eventually became an alcoholic, preachy, atheist (despite previously proclaiming belief in God in earlier episodes), marijuana smoking hypocrite who served the sole purpose of being a loud speaker for Seth MacFarlane's political views. Similarly, Peter Griffin's characterization also spiraled down to him becoming downright abusive and callous, alongside that of his wife.
- Parents' Television Council
- Answers in Genesis
- Family Guy on YouTube
- NY Daily News: "Family Guy" stirs controversy with "Laura Bush killed a guy" catch phrase
- Family Guy: Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey Review